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Get your EVs running: First National Plug In Day is Oct. 16

October 10, 2011 |  3:04 pm

NissanLeafRedElectric-vehicle enthusiasts from New York to California will wheel into the streets en masse Sunday as part of National Plug In Day. Twenty-one cities, including Santa Monica, San Francisco, Santa Cruz and Orange in California, will  hold electric car parades and tailpipe-free tailgate parties to celebrate -- and test drive --currently available plug-ins from Nissan, General Motors, Tesla and SMART, and soon-to-be available models from Mitsubishi, Toyota, Ford and Coda.

"We wanted to get the word out to the American public that electric cars are here now and viable," said Paul Scott, co-founder of Plug In America, which teamed with the Sierra Club and the Electric Auto Assn. to organize the nationwide event. "In the past, a lot of our activities had been centered around California because that was virtually the only state you could get an electric car.  Now the Chevy Volt, Nissan Leaf and Tesla Roadster are in most states and have new drivers who are excited about their cars."

About 400 electric cars, trucks and motorcycles are expected at the Santa Monica parade Sunday. The EVs will start their trek at Santa Monica City Hall and drive down Main Street starting at 10 a.m. Ed Begley Jr. and "Revenge of the Electric Car" director Chris Paine are expected to attend.

-- Susan Carpenter

Photo: Nissan Leaf. Credit: Nissan USA